Wrexham’s newest pub and restaurant is opening midday next Monday – so we took a look at its transformation with five days of 24/7 work left.
As we revealed back in May the Fat Boar team from Mold had chosen the old Black Horse pub on Yorke Street to be their new venue, with plans unveiled only as recently as August as to what things will look like.
The Fat Boar will open at midday on Monday 28 November, with still five days of hard work ahead to get the finishing touches in place.
Co-owner, along with Don Bircham and Barry Horne, Rich Watkin told us this afternoon that ‘everyone is welcome on Monday to pop in for a drink and have a look’, adding ‘we will very much be ready for Monday’. Monday is almost booked up for food – so if you are intending to be one of the first to try the menu, it is advised to get in touch with them first.
The space inside has been transformed to a modern design, with the old rooms opened out and an extension built to the rear of the building.
A smell of paint and putty welcomed us, with work ongoing outside to prepare the ground for a future outside space and coverings over shiny new wooden flooring. A mix of wood, plastered and bare brickwork will set the tone for the restaurant area, awaiting its furniture this Friday.
There are local landmarks and culture being featured, with custom wallpapers created and a stack of historic images in frames ready for hanging.
If you are a Wrexham fan the Racecourse is featured in many of the historic shots!
Rich told us that unlike Mold where they had a chance to build up some offerings, such as their gin collections, they have had to do larger orders to hit the ground running as cocktails and specialities are now expected. Local ales are due to be a feature, with the majority being from inside 15-20 miles of Wrexham.
We asked Rich about the building transformation journey, who likened it to watching Grand Designs on Channel 4: “I am not saying this is a ‘Grand Design’ so to speak, but when you watch TV and think ‘no they will never do it’ and then you see it complete at the end, and think yes, that looks great, …that is the feeling.”
Speaking about Just H Architects and the local element of the build, he said: “My input has been more operational but we have got involved with the vision from Lucy and Paul at Just H. We have been keen to use local companies, and with the greatest will in the world to go local it still is an economic choice as the price has to be right. Thankfully a lot of contractors are from Wrexham and the area as the price was right, so we are delighted to use them.”
Tiling from a few hundred meters away on Rivulet Road is our guess at the closest to the site, with others from around the area.
Although the inside looks bare at the moment that is all to change on Friday when a rolling delivery of furniture and final bits of equipment will turn up. Outside will see a change, as although new lighting is in place the new signage and branding will be installed.
Rich told us of some of the more eventful elements of the build, with one night being rung by police about a burglary – which came as a surprise as he was in the building at the time – but the theft being the old Black Horse pub sign from outside.
The plans have altered slightly from those published on Wrexham.com back in August, with adjustments to the layout and flow of the building. The staircase has moved further to the rear opening out a bar area, complete with USB chargers under some seats.
On the top floor one highlight was the ladies bathroom, which will have a powder section including we are told GHDs, with what could be one of the best views in Wales. There are future plans to further transform one area of unused space into a private dining / meeting area.
Around 30-35 jobs have been created, a mix of full-time and part-time roles, with all being ‘genuine local staff’ who are a walk or bus journey away, with the Fat Boar team being ‘very happy’ with able to recruit locally.
We are told they are also ‘overwhelmed’ with the response from the people of Wrexham prior to opening, saying they have had strong bookings so far despite ‘just being a menu on a piece of paper’ before opening, adding: “Everyone booking is giving us an opportunity to impress them, and we want to look after them.”
Monday noon will be the first opening of the doors, with no grand ceremony, but the invite is out to the people of Wrexham to pop in for a drink and a nosey – and if you are looking to try the food it could be best to book – with phone lines being installed to go live on Monday!